Kenyatta’s day in court is Africa’s day in court

The insistence of the global-west, through the International Criminal Court (ICC), to put President Kenyatta in the dock gives me indigestion. The reactionary me, would urge the President not to dignify the farce – for that is all it is, a farce. The sensible rational me fails to see the greater good that will come out of it. The ICC has proved no different from the other ‘world’ institutions, such as NATO, for example, in its utter disregard of the people of Africa and of Africa’s leaders in particular. The ICC seemingly has taken on the role of being the major propaganda wing of the superpowers of the global-west. Justifying the failures or perhaps covering up the successes of the global-west in causing mass damage in Libya, Iraq, Egypt, etc. Sometimes back I wrote:

Take for instance the way in which the global-west is handling the situation in Libya, with utter disregard of the views of the African Union – the calls for peace talks by African leaders were just dismissed. It is no wonder that a significant section of peoples from the rest of the world feel the global-west is so prejudiced that they do not believe that others are capable of free thinking without the ‘guidance’ of the global-west. This status quo breeds mutual mistrust and ill feelings to the extent that some in Africa now refer to NATO as the “North Atlantic Terrorist Organisation.”  To those thus persuaded, they perceive NATO as the brutal enforcer of neo-colonialism worldwide under the guise of ‘spreading democracy’ and ‘humanitarian intervention’ – therefore, to them NATO is the epitome of the global-west’s intolerance of multiculturalism. The rhetoric with which the invasion of sovereign states and the push for regime change is justified by the ‘super powers’ of the global-west, such as the case of Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Cote d’Ivoire, etc., is fertile ground for breeding and nourishing extremists of all kinds – those with superiority complexes and those with inferiority complexes.

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I cannot but place the ICC’s insistence on trying a sitting African president within the context of vindictiveness. The global-west campaigned in Kenya or was it attempted to intimidate Kenyans not to elect President Kenyatta and they lost. A majority of the Kenyans said no to the global-west’s campaign and intimidation and they democratically voted for President Kenyatta. So, it would seem that the global-west wants to punish Kenya for not voting-in the right President. They will go to great length to push for regime change, including humiliating a democratically elected African President. While at the same time there are leaders in the global-west, including sitting Presidents, whom if subjected to the same scrutiny as the ICC is judging President Kenyatta, may emerge as ‘worse’ human rights violators. These are out reach of the ICC and some are the accusers of President Kenyatta

The Nelson Mandela experience surely showed us another way. If freedom fighters in South Africa found it within them to build bridges with those who terrorised and murdered during the apartheid regime, in order that they build a rain bow nation, might we not view the situation in Kenya in a similar light. Vindictive justice has no place in nation-building nor will it facilitate good international relations. That boat will not take us anywhere, especially not across the Atlantic.

2 thoughts on “Kenyatta’s day in court is Africa’s day in court”

  1. To support the second point that I make in this opinion post – The insufficiency of the ICC’s legal justice method in relation to the Kenyatta case, I again quote Michael Meyer’s opinion published in The New York Times under the title: “Kenya’s Dubious Day in Court”:

    “The Kenya case has only deepened that prejudice. To them, the I.C.C.’s insistence that President Kenyatta attend the status conference in person smacks of a colonial star chamber, with the judges less concerned about administering justice than affirming the court’s own standing in the face of eroding global support. All this comes against the backdrop of the court’s performance elsewhere. The I.C.C. has been asked to investigate alleged crimes in 139 countries but, so far, has done so in fewer than a dozen, issuing over 30 arrest warrants — all in Africa. As for its effectiveness as an instrument of justice, consider that the court’s first conviction (one of only two so far), concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was referred to the I.C.C. in 2004 and is still under appeal. It’s not clear how the court will rule in this week’s hearing. The judges could terminate the case, as President Kenyatta’s lawyers will request, or order the prosecutor to carry on despite the lack of evidence. Clearly and emphatically, the world needs an international criminal court. Just not this one.”

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  2. To support the first point that I make in this opinion post – hypocrisy of the ICC and its seeming loss of credibility, I quote Michael Meyer’s opinion published in The New York Times under the title: “Kenya’s Dubious Day in Court”:

    “Taking the stand, some witnesses have claimed that they were paid by I.C.C. prosecutors to deliver false testimony. At least one confessed to forging hotel receipts and other expenses covered by the court. Still others have admitted to being seduced to testify by the prospect of living abroad, costs paid, as part of the court’s witness protection program — a credible incentive, to be sure, given that so many Kenyans dream of escaping poverty at home by getting a visa to work in the United States or Europe. All told, many legal experts agree that the otherwise serious case against Mr. Kenyatta has degenerated into something more resembling a circus, if not an outright farce … the international court’s credibility has been compromised. African leaders have long criticized the tribunal as overtly politicized, with a built-in bias against Africans. Others accuse it of being strong against weak countries, and weak against strong ones.”

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